I spent a few days visiting my daughter in Washington DC this week. Our walk on this beautiful afternoon brought us to the National Mall right about sunset.
Sitting there watching the light rapidly change provided a really good illustration about how the time of day makes a big difference when you’re out shooting. We all know the mantra about magic light in the early morning and late afternoon. Here’s a great example.
The following four photos really illustrate the importance of being there at the right time. These were taken during a time span of 40 minutes.
The golden afternoon sunlight gradually faded during the ½ hour between the first and second shots. Then the sky darkened quickly and the artificial light became brighter in relation to the background.
When you’re out shooting if there’s a photo that you really want, check the scene and figure out what time of day will be best. Then make sure to be there at the right time. Start shooting too early and finish too late. Which shot your prefer is a matter of personal vision, but if you don’t hang around you might miss an unanticipated winner.
p.s. Don’t be afraid to take the “snapshot” in case you can’t make it back. It’s still a great memory.